Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gallup: 'Unprecedented' GOP lead

by Mike Memoli
For the first time in history, Gallup finds that Republicans have a double-digit advantage in its generic ballot test.

If the election were held today, 51 percent of respondents surveyed from August 23-29 say they'd vote for the Republican Congressional candidate, while 41 percent say they'd choose the Democratic candidate.
Gallup has conducted this generic ballot test since 1942, and until this year Republicans never had an advantage of more than 5 points.

The poll also finds that Republicans are twice as likely to be "very enthusiastic" about voting -- 50 percent say so, compared to 25 percent of Democrats.

"The last Gallup weekly generic ballot average before Labor Day underscores the fast-evolving conventional wisdom that the GOP is poised to make significant gains in this fall's midterm congressional elections," the pollster says in its release.

Girding for a tough November, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today launched its first TV ad of the cycle, targeting the open-seat contest in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District. Rep. Dave Obey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, is retiring.

The race is currently classified as a Toss Up by the respected Cook Political Report. Former "Real World" cast member Sean Duffy is the GOP nominee, targeted in this spot for his stated support for a budget blueprint from another Wisconsin Republican, Rep. Paul Ryan.

Ryan today said that blueprint is not necessarily the course House Republicans would pursue, however, if they retake the majority. But he cited the presence of a new class of conservative members like Duffy who would help the party restore its record as responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.

"We just didn't go far enough on controlling spending, on reforming entitlements, and we let discretionary get out of control, especially earmarks," Ryan said of the previous Republican majority. "We need to face up to it, own it, and make sure we never do it again. And I think what you're seeing is a new generation of conservative leaders coming into the Republican caucus that is basically making atonements for that and making sure that we don't repeat those kinds of mistakes."

ACLU Sues Obama Over Targeted Killing Orders

That would be the headline, with a change to one word, were Bush still president, rather than the generic “U.S.” used by Bloomberg News. Anyhow, the ACLU is having their typical hissy fit, and doing their darned best to protect terrorists
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. government over an alleged policy of killing American citizens who are suspected of terrorism.
The lawsuit, filed today in federal court in Washington, argued that such targeted assassinations by the government are unconstitutional.
“A program that authorizes killing U.S. citizens, without judicial oversight, due process or disclosed standards is unconstitutional, unlawful and un-American,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement announcing the filing of the case against U.S. President Barack Obama, the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.
The New York-based group, together with the Center for Constitutional Rights, brought the case on behalf of Nasser al- Awlaki, father of a U.S.-born Islamic cleric in Yemen, Anwar al- Awlaki, who is accused of having ties to al-Qaeda.
I sure hope the government’s response was “a citizen that travels overseas, joins an acknowledged international terrorist groups, threatens to kill American civilians (among others), and destroy American property has informally renounced their American citizenship and is not entitled to Constitutional protections, and should expect to be wacked if found.”
“There is very little information available to the public about the U.S. targeting of people far from any battlefield,” the ACLU said on its website. Names are added to the list on the basis of a secret, internal process, the group said, citing unidentified news reports.
Well, duh! The ACLU thinks they have a right to know everything, that way they can leak it to the enemy, which, in my book, is un-American.

by William Teach

USA 70, Brazil 68

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant (USA Basketball, Nike)

In many ways, today’s USA/Brazil game was a typical Team USA game. The Americans overcame sloppy play (22 turnovers) and poor outside shooting (2-of-11) from all players not named Kevin Durant, and survived against the Brazilians, who had every chance to steal a win against the superior talent of Team USA. But Leandro Barbosa went cold in the second half, finishing 3-of-13 from 3PT after a hot start, and Brazil came up short.

Outside of Durant (27 points, 10 rebounds) and maybe Chauncey Billups (15 points) and Derrick Rose (11 points), this team is a mess. The bench managed a paltry six points, but Coach K leaned heavily on his starters, playing each guy a minimum of 29 minutes. (Durant played 39 minutes.) There was little or no offensive movement, leaving Durant, Billups and Rose to create on their own. How a team with this much talent can turn the ball over 22 times in 40 minutes is mind-boggling.

Moreover, there was little to no enthusiasm from the U.S. bench, while the Brazilians were standing and cheering their teammates throughout the game. At one point, I think Danny Granger (zero minutes) fell asleep. (Kidding. Not really.) They played hard enough defensively, and even though they gave up a ton of open shots, they eventually wore the Brazilians down.

One reason I tuned in was to see the Spurs new center, Tiago Splitter, who Fran Fraschilla called the best center in Europe. He’s 25, moves well for his size, and has a pretty nice jump hook with both the right and the left hands. I suspect he’ll be in foul trouble for the entire month of November as he figures out how NBA officials are going to call the game, but he has the potential to be as good as any center Tim Duncan has played with since David Robinson. (I realize that’s not saying a whole lot.)

Roger Clemens enjoys big meal before being arraigned

There was nothing wrong with Roger Clemens’ appetite as he made his way through the cafeteria on the first floor of the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse at the lunch hour yesterday. Onto his tray went a big salad. And an overstuffed sandwich. And a large cup of orange juice. And an extra large bottle of Poland Spring. “How are you doing today?” the woman behind the cash register asked the man who in less than two hours would be arraigned up on the sixth floor on Indictment No. 10-223, six counts that would charge that William R. Clemens (“also known as ‘Roger,’” as the court clerk helpfully added) lied under oath before Congress. “I’m doing great!” Clemens chirped affably, and soon he was sitting with his legal team, with Rusty Hardin and four other lawyers who will try to extricate him from the biggest jam of his life, one he created for himself by insisting on testifying a few blocks away from this building back in February 2008. Clemens talked all through lunch, reducing his legal team to gales of laughter a dozen times. A courthouse worker came by, offered a piece of paper and a pen, and Clemens signed with a smile. — NY Post

Tiger Woods Moving To Manhattan

Tiger Woods 

TIGER Woods is already embracing the single life.

The sex-mad golfer — who last week finalized his divorce from his sexy Swedish wife Elin Nordegren — has just moved into luxury New York bachelor pad.
According to Us Weekly magazine, Woods moved into the his new apartment in downtown Manhattan over the weekend.
A witness saw Woods, 34, “introducing himself as the new neighbor”.
Reports last week claimed Tiger is dating a former NYC ad executive who is in her mid fifties.
“They’re a great couple, I’ve never seen Tiger so in love,” a source said.
“This might be exactly what Tiger needs. His ill fated affairs behind Elin’s back are long behind him.
“He spends most of his nights watching films and giving back rubs to the new woman in his life, who is the mother of three grown children from a previous marriage to a well known Texas financier. I have never seen Tiger so happy.”
The woman in question, the source said, used the be nicknamed “The Cougar” in her office.
“She only dates men young enough to be her son,” dished the mole.
“I’m sure Tiger will be able to satisfy her physical needs.”

China Confirms That North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Il Was In The Country

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left. shakes hands with China's President Hu Jintao on August 27, 2010. Reuters

China, North Korea Tout Friendship Amid Kim Visit -- Wall Street Journal

SEOUL—North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il met Chinese President Hu Jintao during his five-day visit to northeast China, the Chinese government confirmed Monday night as Mr. Kim left the country, in a surprise get-together that underscored their solidarity as they cope with pressure from the U.S. and other countries to act more responsibly.

The announcement was the climax of what appeared to be a coordinated public-relations push by China on Monday, beginning with stories in several media outlets praising the China-North Korea relationship while also saying Beijing shouldn't be held responsible for Pyongyang's provocative actions.

Read more ....

Troy Polamalu’s $1 Million Dollar Hairdo

If you follow college sports, quite often you’ll hear of athletes going out and getting an insurance policy against injuries that might harm their NFL career.  A quarterback might get his shoulder insured, or a running back his feet.  Either way, athletes getting insurance policies is nothing new, but what is something new is NFL safety Troy Polamalu has gotten a $1 million dollar insurance policy on his hair.

That’s right, the All-Pro member of the Pittsburgh Steelers has a very important head of hair, both to himself and to Head & Shoulders, the company for which Polamalu promotes hair-care products.  The Samoan-American has not cut his hair in 7 years, which lead him to his lucrative endorsement deal.  Now, to protect their investment, Head & Shoulders have gotten Lloyd’s of London to insure Polamalu’s hair from trampling, tearing, or damaging removal for seven figures.

It kind of makes me wonder how much George Gaspar’s epic beard would be worth to an insurance agency!

Obama's World versus Real World Report Released by ALG Foundation

By Rick Manning
Fairfax, Virginia-based, free enterprise education foundation, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) Foundation released a report titled “Obama’s World v. Real World” today to commemorate President Obama’s returning from what seemed like an endless summer of vacations.
The report features a cover photo of a golf-shirt clad President with putter in hand, kicking his cleated foot in the air in exuberance after apparently sinking a putt — or Obama is auditioning for a Karate Kid 2 remake.

The report itself is serious. Detailing date after date when the President or the First Lady were engaged in recreational, vacation or fundraising activities while at the same time, Americans were dying in combat, losing jobs and going into bankruptcy.
One example from the report shows that on June 5, 2009, in Obama’s world, the President and First Lady enjoyed a date night in Paris, France, and managed to snub the French President in the process. On that same day, the U.S. Department of Labor released data showing that 345,000 Americans lost their jobs the prior month and the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent.
Bill Wilson, president of ALG explained, “This report shows just how out of touch the Obama’s are from the real problems facing the rest of America, and should be taken to heart when the President embarks on a compassion offensive in 2011.”

The report spans from February 11, 2009, when the Obama’s made a highly publicized visit to Ford’s Theater just a few days into his presidency to August 28, 2010, his most recent late-August family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. The report also includes the First Lady’s controversial vacation to Spain, and the 27-hour Gulf of Mexico frolic in Panama City, Florida.

Get full story here.

Contender in November

Get permalink here.

U.S. Credit Rating Deserves to Be Downgraded

By Bill Wilson
Last week, FOX Business host Neil Cavuto came forward with a dire prediction: Thanks to the rising $13.375 trillion national debt, a downgrade of the United States’ triple-A credit rating is imminent.
“For the first time in the history of the United States, our credit rating will get a nick,” Cavuto declared. “Let me be clear, in the next few months — you heard me right, months, not years — a credit ratings agency will downgrade U.S. debt.”

Is Cavuto merely being provocative, or was he telling the truth? I’m inclined to think the latter.
Get full story here.

The Ugly Truth of Obamacare

By Rebekah Rast
In case you missed the battle last month between Obama and Snooki from MTV’s reality television show “Jersey Shore,” here’s a recap:
Snooki is staying away from the tanning salon and blames Obama for this new disruption in her life.

“I don’t go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10 percent tax on tanning. [Sen. John] McCain would never put a 10 percent tax on tanning. Because he’s pale and would probably want to be tan,” said Snooki during the second season premier of “Jersey Shore.”
If you are like Obama and claim to not know who Snooki is, you can still sympathize with her outrage over the new ObamaCare tax of 10 percent on indoor tanning salons that went into effect July 1.

This tax is also trickling into small business’ bottom line. A smart-tan poll found that 76 percent of tanning salon business owners believe the tax is hurting their sales.

There is no harm in being boisterous over your opposition to the tax, like Snooki was towards Obama, but there is more you can do to fight against this tax and many more of the 20,000-plus regulations in ObamaCare.

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has launched a new website called ObamaCare Watcher. This website is dedicated to keeping track of the most harmful and damaging regulations tucked inside ObamaCare.
Get full story here.

Caribbean Soccer Star Murdered in Brooklyn

Caribbean Soccer Star Murdered in Brooklyn 

On Sunday, Phillip Tisson scored the winning goal for St. Lucia's soccer team in its game against St. Kitts-Nevis in the Digicell Caribbean Cup tournament being held in Brooklyn. Hours later, he was shot dead.

Tisson, who'd turned 28 three days earlier, was celebrating his team's victory with teammates at a Brooklyn club Sunday night. At around 3:30 a.m., he was sitting in a car outside the club with a woman. A man came up and shot Tisson in the head, killing him. Police have no motive yet. He leaves behind a three year-old daughter.
[Pic: AP]

Hurricane Earl threatens Puerto Rico coast

"Satellite image of Hurricane Earl, by the National Hurricane Center U.S." .- AP
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the United States, Hurricane Earl, of category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale of a total of five levels, with winds that can reach 217 kilometers an hour, is about 200 kilometers northeast of Puerto Rico. 

Earl was moving west-northwest at 24 kilometers per hour. The eye of the storm would pass east of the Turks and Caicos. The prognosis for a five-day period indicates that it could affect the U.S. East Coast beginning Thursday.

Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño said “the island’s schools will not open its doors today and working time is suspended by officials to prevent the effects of Hurricane Earl.”

The NHC said it also remains alert for the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius.

Rick Sanchez Regrets Calling Obama “The Cotton-Picking President”

Oops! During a discussion with CNN cohort Jessica Yellin regarding recent controversies surrounding President Obama and his religious faith, Rick Sanchez used an old fashioned (and some might add racist) phrase that he immediately regretted, exasperating “he’s the cotton picking President!” Shortly after he made that comment CNN went to commercial, and immediately upon coming back from the break Sanchez offered a thoughtful apology and clarification regarding his very poor choice of words.

According to Phrase Finder, “the term ‘cotton-picking’ originated in the southern states of the USA, where it is usually pronounced cotton-pickin’” Newsweek Senior Editor Julia Reed came under criticism for making a similar comment while guesting on CNN’s AC 360 when she said that President Obama was “out of his cotton picking mind.”

The high price of the war in Iraq

As President Obama fulfills his campaign promise to end the combat role of U.S. armed forces in Iraq it is worth taking time to consider the high price of that conflict which began with the U.S. invasion in March of 2003. Aside from the very real costs in blood and treasury, Anne Applebaum examines some of the casualties:
Justify Full
America's reputation for effectiveness. The victory was swift, but the occupation was chaotic. The insurgency appeared to take Washington by surprise, and no wonder: The Pentagon was squabbling with the State Department, the soldiers had no instructions and didn't speak the language. The overall impression, in Iraq and everywhere else, was of American incompetence—and, after Abu Ghraib, of stupidity and cruelty as well. Two years ago, a poll showed that vast numbers of our closest friends felt that the "mismanagement" of Iraq—not the "invasion" of Iraq—was the biggest stumbling block for allies of the United States.

No wonder, then, that America's ability to organize a coalition has also suffered. Participation in the Iraq war cost Tony Blair his reputation and the Spanish government an election. After an initial surge of support, the Iraqi occupation proved unpopular even in countries where America is popular, such as Italy and Poland. Almost no country that participated in the conflict derived any economic or diplomatic benefits from doing so. None received special U.S. favors—not even Georgia, which sent 2,000 soldiers and received precisely zero U.S. support during its military conflict with Russia.

It will be a lot harder to get any of the "coalition of the willing" to fight with us again. Indeed, "Iraq" is part of the reason why there is so little enthusiasm for Afghanistan and why it is so difficult to put organized pressure on Iran.

Another victim of the conflict was America's ability to influence the Middle East. Admittedly, we were never as good at this as we would like to be, but the chaos in Iraq has clearly strengthened Iran. It has had no positive impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By helping raise the price of oil for a few years—this was supposed to be a "war for oil"; remember that?—it has also strengthened Saudi Arabia, the regime that produced 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers.

Of course, the high oil price also strengthened Russia and Venezuela—not that anyone has much noticed—because another casualty of the Iraq war has been America's ability to think like a global power. Even if we eventually pull out of Iraq altogether, we will have been bogged down in that country for the decade that also saw China's rise to real world-power status, Latin America's drift to the far left, and Russia's successful use of pipeline politics to divide Europe—all trends that commanded hardly any attention from the Bush administration and so far even less from Obama.

Finally, there are few domestic items that are often overlooked. One worries me in particular: America's ability to care for its wounded veterans. In historical terms, the number of U.S. fatalities in Iraq has been low—some 4,400, as compared with nearly 60,000 in Vietnam. But thanks, in part, to extraordinary advances in medical technology, the number of severely wounded veterans—men and women who will need the highest level of medical and psychological care for the rest of their lives—is far higher than ever before. We need innovative programs—programs like Musicorps, which I described last year—but high levels of bureaucratic energy are required to create and fund them. And the bureaucracy is understandably tired.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the assessment of the Iraq war is a project for the next decade, not the next week. Before speaking on Tuesday, Obama might ponder the words of Chou En-lai—who, when asked to assess the long-term impact of the French Revolution, allegedly told Nixon, "It's too soon to tell."

posted by Sisyphus

Restoring Honor in America Raises More Than $5 Million


By Rachel Rossitto

Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin bring Americans together in honor of people who represent the country's key principles. 

Thousands of patriotic Americans came to Washington D.C. on Saturday to participate in the Restoring Honor rally, organized by talk-radio host and Fox News political commentator Glenn Beck.
The free, "non-political" event at the Lincoln Memorial paid tribute to the nation's heroes who have embodied what the country stands for: integrity, truth and honor. More than $5 million in donations from the event went to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which supports the families of soldiers who become severely wounded or die while serving.

Also in attendance was Sarah Palin.
"It is so humbling to get to be here with you today, patriots — you who are motivated and engaged and concerned, knowing to never retreat," Palin said. "I must assume that you too know that we must not fundamentally transform America as some would want. We must restore America and restore her honor!"
Read the rest of her speech here.

According to Beck, the well-intentioned rally coincidentally fell on the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

Here are photos and video from this historic event.

Chicago-Amsterdam Flight Terror Arrest

Boxcutters and cellphone taped to Pepto-Bismol. A test run.

Checked the luggage to Yemen but boarded the flight to Amsterdam.

Why Chicago.

...Lots of activity lately.

More. NBC Chicago. (A real PC media pooh-pooh report.)
The men were arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Monday. One U.S. official said it appears the Dutch were not asked to hold either man but were instead notified of the odd behavior and apparently decided on their own to detain them.
While two men were picked up by the Dutch, tal Murisi is now thought to be uninvolved and was simply coincidentally sitting next to al Soofi, who's from Detroit.
Neither of the two men were previously of concern to law enforcement, a law enforcement official says, nor is there anything to suggest they had ill intent.
Really. Because everyone tapes a cellphone to a Pepto-Bismol bottle. And why didn't we ask the Dutch to hold these guys? Apparently they have a different grasp of reality. Clearly they recognized a threat.

...Wonder if this will make the next Chicago-area Islamic Society of North America newsletter. (Stimulus $$$ for Sharia?)

...In other Chicago news: Durbin throws support behind Ground Zero Mosque:
Sen. Dick Durbin, the man who could lead the U.S. Senate depending on how November’s elections go, had a strong message for Illinois’ 400,000 Muslims and other residents about the Ground Zero Mosque Monday.
“They are patriotic peace-loving Americans,” Durbin said of Illinois’ Muslims. “They are the doctors who administer your anesthesia; the nurses who care for you in the hospital; the engineers who build the buildings; the people who run the hotels and motels and businesses. If there was ever a time we needed to step up and embrace them and remind them that they are as much a part of America as anyone, it is now.”
How do you want your Pepto-Bismol.
And Lithuanian grandmothers, you are on notice for strip searches.
...If they blow a hole in O'Hare Sen. Durbin will support a mosque there too. It's only fair.
Related: Captured on Video: Fundraising for Hamas in U.S. Mosque. And this:
According to press accounts, more than $1 million in aid for Hamas, including the cash and supplies raised in Orlando at Musri’s mosque, along with funds raised in Kansas, New York and Illinois, was provided on Galloway’s July 2009. There to greet them and take possession of the cash was Hamas economic minister Ziad al-Zaza and Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, another designated global terrorist.

More. 2004 Tribune article on the Muslim Brotherhood in Chicago:
The Brotherhood slogan became "Allah is our goal; the Messenger is our model; the Koran is our constitution; jihad is our means; and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our aspiration."[snip]
A U.S. chapter of the Brotherhood, documents and interviews show, was formed in the early 1960s after hundreds of young Muslims came to the U.S. to study, particularly at large Midwestern universities, such as Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Some belonged to the Brotherhood in their homelands and wanted to spread its ideology here.

But to protect themselves and their relatives back home from possible persecution, they publicly called themselves the Cultural Society and not the Brotherhood.
P.S. Here's the WaPo's headline--talk about uninformative, you'd think maybe they had a stuck umbrella in there or something: Pair held after odd items turn up in luggage. It was Mary Poppins and her carpetbag.

"We don't know yet if these two end up being bad guys or are just really strange people," said one official.
There ya go.

with more buzz. They don't have this one up yet.